A Taste of Europe

Almost anywhere you go when traveling in Europe, you will find some version of an almond cake.  This very simple, elegant cake is like the European signature cake, found everywhere from Sweden to Spain, Austria to France, and Germany to Italy.   In Sweden, the almond cake is known as a visiting cake; the Italians call it torta di mandorle and in Spain it goes by the name of tarta de Santiago.  Whatever name you choose to call it, and wherever you choose to enjoy it it, it is still a delicious almond cake.  Just like a rose by any other name is still a rose, an almond cake by any other name is still a delicious almond cake.  Almond cakes have been prevalent all over Europe since the Middle Ages, and they are even more popular today than they were then.  Almond cakes have staying power and have been around for a very long time, and they will continue to be around for a very long time to come.

To me, this is a very welcoming cake to enjoy over a good cup of coffee or tea when friends or family stop by.   I like it plain, just as it is.  My husband enjoys it with a bit of ice cream on the side.   However you like to eat it, it will definitely be a treat for your taste buds.

This particular recipe has everything blended together and processed in a food processor rather than being mixed in a mixer.  Apparently mixing everything together in the food processor moderates how much the cake will rise, making sure it is not too fluffy or not to dense, and ensuring it comes out just right.  Mix the toasted almonds and dry ingredients first then pour into a separate bowl.

After removing all the dry ingredients, then process the remaining ingredients together.  Once they are all processed and well incorporated, then add the almond flour mixture and pulse again until well mixed.  Pour the batter into a prepared cake pan.

Top with more almonds, sugar and lemon zest before baking.  The almonds going on top of the cake do not need to be toasted, since they will be toasted during the baking process.


Almond Cake

1 1/2 cups toasted almonds plus 1/3-1/2 cup almond slivers

3/4 cup flour

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cup  + 2 TBSP sugar

4 large eggs

1 TBSP+ 1/2 tsp lemon zest, divided

3/4 tsp almond extract

1/3 cup vegetable oil

5 TBSP melted butter


Preheat oven to 325* F

Spray a cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.


Toast 1 1/2 cups of almonds, then add to your food processor along with all the dry ingredients and pulse until everything is finely ground and mixed together.  Remove from the food processor and pour into a bowl and set aside.

Process the eggs, 1 1/4 cups of sugar, 1 TBSP lemon zest and almond extract for about 2 minutes or until the mixture is a very pale yellow cream.  Then pour in the oil and melted butter while the processor is mixing.  Once everything is mixed together well, add the almond and flour mixture and pulse again for about 5 pulses or until everything is well blended.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan.  Top the batter with almonds and the remaining sugar and lemon zest.  Bake for about 1 hour or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.  Let the cake cool completely before removing from the cake pan.



Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

10 thoughts on “A Taste of Europe”

  1. Jeanne! I just learned about your blog – and I’m a fan already! It’s beautiful, instructive, and informative. Also enticing. I’ll be trying many of these recipes. I’ve missed you over the last year but now I can get my Jeanne “fix” right here. Good luck, all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just wanted to post an update.
    This was ter… just kidding!
    I made it last night and it turned out amazing.
    It’s actually quick and simple to make.
    It comes out moist; to my surprise. Because the batter looked rather dense.
    It’s just the right level of sweetness.
    Everything’s a plus. No negatives.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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